TL350/WB2000 vs P300

Started Jul 2, 2011 | Discussions thread
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massarosareloud
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TL350/WB2000 vs P300
Jul 2, 2011

I posted the same thread in the Nikon forum, and it was recommended that I post here too. I hope this isn't against forum rules...

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Hi everybody. I know that has been answered before, and I don’t mean to bother people by reviving answered questions, but I would appreciate the opinion of everyone on this forum.

I am currently pulling my hair out trying to purchase a new camera. I am deciding over the P300 and the TL350. Any opinions are welcome, please feel free to say what you are thinking. Please feel free to mention another camera if you think it will suit me better.

Here are the features I absolutely need in any camera.

• Full Manual Controls (Besides Focus). At some point I may be interested in getting into the DSLR field (not now) and I would love the ability to toy around with manual controls if I ever so desired.

• Aperture Priority. Depth of field and bokeh aren’t as important to me as low light abilities.

• Very Wide Aperture. The f1.8 on the Nikon P300 really interested me. I tend to take lots of indoor and low-light pictures, so obviously the wider aperture will allow me to keep a reasonable shutter speed and somewhat low ISO.

• 1080p Video. I am adamant that my camera have the ability to film in 1080p, not 1080i like some newer cameras advertise (which for the life of me I can’t figure out why they offer 1080i60 instead of 1080p30? To help compensate rolling shutter artifacts by offloading data from the sensor quicker? Doesn’t that trade off image quality?). Obviously, if a CCD was available, I would prefer that to the CMOS to avoid the rolling shutter artifacts.

• Wide Angle Lens. Ideally between 24-28mm equivalent at its widest angle. My previous camera had a 36mm I believe and it drove me nuts. I toyed around with a wide angle camera at a store and now nothing short of the widest angle will suffice (:

• Slow Motion Movie. Both the TL350 and the P300 take slow motion video, the P300 maxes out at 640x480p120 while the TL350 hits 1000fps at a mediocre resolution.

• High-ish ISO without degrading image quality. Now I know I am asking a lot here, obviously low graininess and small image sensor don’t go together. But if one handles noise better than the other, that would be great.

• Auto focus during video. Unfortunately, this is one area that really kills the TL350. It could be a great camera, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t focus during video. Obviously this won’t be a huge problem, because there isn’t much depth of field with these small sensor cameras, but it is still something to think about.

• No touch screen. I used a touch screen on a camera I had temporarily (to sell on eBay) and although it was gimmicky, and did allow lots of controls to fit on the screen, it really killed my productivity compared to buttons and dials.

• Fast menu operation. With my current camera (Panasonic DMC-LZ7) I fly through the menus because I have memorized them and the number of clicks I need to get to a given menu item. I can press the arrow keys as fast as I wish and there is no detectable lag, I love it! This is pretty important.
These are the features I would love to have, but aren’t a deal breaker for me.

• Intervalometer. I enjoy taking time lapse photos, and that was the reasoning behind purchasing a used Canon point and shoot off eBay (for $12!!). CHDK is great, by the way, I have to mention that. So this also isn’t crucial, but would be nice to have.

• CHDK or Equivalent. For some reason, the manufactures never seem to listen or care to the consumers’ wishes. So having an open firmware with hacking possibilities would be convenient, but not crucial.

• High Resolution AMOLED Screen. Both the P300 and TL350 have a high resolution screen, but the TL350 might take home the bacon with an AMOLED screen. Again, not crucial.
• Screen size at least 2.5”. Speaks for itself.

• Good Battery Life. I realize that both the TL350 and the P300 have poor battery life averaging around 200 shots apiece, and I don’t mind spending the extra $20 if the perfect camera needs extra batteries.

• Manual Controls during Video. This is where it gets confusing. I would love to manually control the shutter speed during a video, or even setting it before I begin filming and a sort of AE-L kicks in. I know the P300 can AE-L during video if you press the right directional arrow key (I believe), but I do not know if that locks the shutter speed and aperture as well. I would be fine having to point the camera at the sun to get the high shutter speed I wish, then pressing the AE-L button and continuing filming. I have seen the videos on YouTube of people filming at high shutter speeds and using Twixtor to blend together new frames, effectively slowing the video down to 1000fps (shot at 60fps) without any noticeable artifacts. Watch this, its quite amazing and jaw dropping if you have never seen it before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwrY49QZhXA

One thing I found that bothered me immensely, and if anybody can corrobate this I would appreciate it, is apparently the TL350 has some pretty noticeable barrel distortion. Take a look (large file):

To me this looks like full telephoto, but I am not sure.

Again, I really appreciate any responses you may have, I know I am asking a lot here. If someone who owns or owned both the P300 and TL350 could comment, that would be awesome! I really enjoyed looking through the other posts here and intend to give back, I’m glad I found this awesome place!

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